Urinetown brimming with entertainment

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Scene from Urinetown

Shaun Ding

IT’S A HARD-KNOCK LIFE. Urinetown continues to shine at Althouse College Theatre presented by A FEW Good Players Drama Troupe from Western’s Faculty of Education. The last remaining shows are tonight at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

There is no better way to talk about pee than to sing about it.

With musical numbers such as “It’s a Privilege to Pee,” Urinetown: The Musical " put on by the Althouse Faculty of Education " is an unusual, amusing show with great talent and wacky characters.

As Little Sally, played by Michelle Logan notes, “This isn’t a happy musical.” In a twisted world where a community is suffering from an extended drought, citizens are required to pay large sums of money to mega-corporations in order to use bathrooms, which are owned by Urine Good Company. One person, Bobby Strong (David Robertson), is not happy about this situation and decides to guide the poor citizens into a rebellion.

The actors all performed very well and most of the characters kept the audience constantly laughing. The two police officers, Lockstock and Barrel, started off the show blowing their whistles and telling the audience to sit down. Lockstock was the head-honcho " narrator and law enforcer of the town. Barrel, on the other hand, was Lockstock’s strange sidekick who had a fear of being touched but loved touching Lockstock in appropriate times and places.

Amy McNaill played Hope Cladwell " daddy’s little princess who’s just returned home from “the most expensive university in the world” to help Bobby save their town. She did a wonderful job playing a spoiled, clueless angel who was more callous than she seemed. Her chemistry with handsome hero Bobby Strong was cute in a schoolyard crush sort of way.

Scene from Urinetown

The lyrics of the musical acts were original, and although there were a few minor pitch problems, the actors’ singing was dead on. There was plenty of dancing from the enthusiastic actors, with the choreography fitting the songs perfectly, though at times the actors could have been more in sync with each other.

The music in the performance was played by a group of eight musicians, who were situated on the stage in the back right corner. At first it seemed somewhat odd that they were on stage with the actors, but the reason became clear once they were added into one of the scenes.

Numerous props were used throughout the performance and aside from a couple of set changes, a cityscape was the play’s main background.

Urinetown was definitely an original musical unlike any other Broadway show. The sheer amount of potty talk itself made this musical exciting and fun to watch.

Urinetown: The Musical plays until Feb. 28 at Althouse on Western Road at 7:30 p.m. every night, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are available at The Grand Theatre, Althouse cafeteria or the door, $10 for students and $15 for general admission.

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